NORTH CANTON, Ohio - With 260 games in the books for the Walsh football, the 25th season kicks off on Saturday (Sept. 7) as the Cavaliers will travel to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for a matchup with the FCS Duquesne Dukes. Kickoff from Arthur J. Rooney Field is set for 4:00 PM.
The Opening Kickoff
- Walsh was 4-6 last season and 4-4 in the G-MAC after the Cavaliers finished the season with two straight wins over Alderson Broaddus and Malone.
- The Cavaliers dropped the first three games of the year and came back to win four of the last seven contests.
- The Cavaliers will return the starting quarterback (Nick Gassman), running back (Koby Adu-Poku) and six of the top eight defensive players from the 2018 season.
- Gassman threw for 1,357 yards and eight touchdowns on 134 completions.
- Adu-Poku led the Cavs in rushing attempts and catches last season. The running back ran for 929 yards on the ground and caught 24 passes for a total of 262 yards. He also added 175 yards on kick returns for a grand total of 1,366 all purpose yards. The junior back had 12 touchdowns total, including 11 rushing TD's.
- Stephen Baugh led the Cavaliers with 72 tackles while Leondre Crosby was second with 59 tackles. Crosby made nine tackles for loss and five sacks. Morgan Trust was the team leader with 11.5 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks.
- John Fankhauser is in his second season as head coach of the Cavaliers after 19 years as an assistant coach.
- This is the first meeting between Walsh and Duquesne in the program's history.
- After finishing 5th last season, Walsh was selected to finish 5th in the 2019 Great Midwest Football Coaches' Preseason Poll.
- Walsh is 14-10 in season opening games in the program's history but have lost the last four openers.
- 1357: 2018 passing yards by starting QB Nick Gassman
- 929: 2018 rushing yards by starting RB Koby Adu-Poku
- 186: Points scored on offense in 2018 season
- 72: Team-high in tackles set by Stephen Baugh
- 40: Returning letterwinners
- 25: 2019 is the 25th season of Walsh Football
- 11: All-Conference Team members after the 2018 season
- 5: Walsh was picked 5th in the G-MAC Preseason Poll
- 4: Number of wins in the 2018 season
- 1: First meeting with Duquesne in program history
- Duquesne was 9-4 last season as they won the NEC title, qualified for the FCS playoffs and advanced to the second round for the first time in program history.
- A.J. Hines is back for his senior season with 3,849 career rushing yards and 38 career rushing touchdowns, pacing all active FCS players in both categories. Hines is the reigning NEC Offensive Player of the Year, after he rsuhed for 1,520 yards last season for the Dukes. He posted a school-record six-straight 100-yard rushing performances last season, becoming an All-American along the way.
- Daniel Parr returns as the quarterback as he threw for nearly 2,500 yards and 20 touchdowns.
- The Dukes are slotted just outside the AFCA FCS Top 25 Coaches Poll, after finishing 24th last season.
The Cavaliers will return home and will host the #23 Ashland Eagles on Saturday (Sept. 14) at 1:00 PM at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium.